Introduction: In the era of multidrug resistant Plasmodium parasites, the management and control of malaria infection become complicated. Therefore, Alternative but effective plant based antimalarial treatments need to be discovered. In the search for potential antimalarial medicines, the present study tried to examine In-vivo efficacy evaluation of ethanol crude extracts of Croton macrostachyus, Ruta chalepensis, and Vernonia amygdalina against Plasmodium berghei in Swiss albino mice.
Methods: Oral acute toxicity assessment of the extracts was done in mice received up to 3000 mg/kg of dosage to see safety level of the plant materials. The standard 4-days antimalarial suppressive test was also employed to determine growth inhibition of parasitaemia at doses of 400, 600, and 800 mg/kg of the extracts. In addition, preliminary phytochemical screenings of the extracts were also carried out according to the standard procedures.
Results: Extracts of the plant materials did not produce serious acute toxic effects on mice received up to a single dose of 3000 mg/kg. Although complete clearance was not recorded, extracts of the plant materials produced dose dependent suppression of the parasitaemia. The highest growth inhibition recorded was by extract of V. amygdalina (61.44%) followed by C. macrostachyus (59.3%) at 800 mg/kg of tested doses. Whereas, complete parasitaemia clearance was attributed in mice which got 25 mg/kg of Chloroquine (CQ). In addition, survival time of experimental mice was recorded and the finding revealed mice treated with the extracts lived longer than the negative control groups. The phytochemical screening of the crude extracts was also carried out and revealed the presence of antimalarial active constituents such as alkaloids, saponins, cardiac glycosides, flavonoids, terpenoids, steroids, phenols, and tannins.
Conclusion: The present study therefore, confirms ethanol crude extracts of C. macrostachyus, R. chalepensis, and V. amygdalina are safe and rich with active secondary metabolites which have promising antimalarial effects.